Natural gas in 2020 … production exceeds consumption and strong Asian demand offset by a decline in Europe


Rystad Energy Consulting said yesterday, “Global natural gas production decreased by 3.6 percent in 2020, but it continued to outpace consumption in light of the damage caused by the pandemic to demand and prices.”
According to “Reuters”, “Rystad” data reveal that production fell to 3,918 billion cubic meters, with North American production severely affected, which is less than a previous estimate.
The consulting company said, “The global demand for gas decreased by 2.5 percent to 3,840 billion cubic meters, according to estimates, but the lower gas prices mean an increase in its competitiveness compared to coal in the electricity sector, which contributed to limiting the decline.”
In light of the impact of the closure measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Corona virus, demand in Europe decreased 7 percent, equivalent to 40 billion cubic meters, while demand in Asia remained relatively strong.
Global LNG imports bucked the downward trend and increased 3 percent to 363 million tons, driven by demand from Asia, especially China, Rystad said.
Liquefied gas prices in Asia reached a record high last week.
Liquefaction capacity grew by 5 percent to 464 million tons per year, with new plants entering production in the United States in particular.
Looking ahead to 2040, the consulting firm said, “It expects global gas production to grow 24 percent to 4,857 billion cubic meters, driven by an increase of 410 billion cubic meters in North America, although the ambitious climate policies under the administration of the next US President Joe Biden form The source of danger in the expectations. “
Rystad said, “It is expected that global demand, led by Asia, will grow 26 percent over the next 20 years to 4,867 billion cubic meters, but Europe will witness a decrease from 2024.”
The company expected LNG production to jump 79 percent to 672 million tons by 2040, but it would remain below global demand for it, estimated at 736 million tons.
Rystad also expected the liquefaction capacity to nearly double at 886 million tons per year.
In addition, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed his doubts about the establishment of a foundation in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to support the completion of the “Nord Stream 2” gas pipeline project in the Baltic Sea.
According to the “German”, Maas said yesterday, during his visit to Cairo, “This is a decision that was taken in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is not a decision of the federal government.”
By creating a foundation aimed at the public interest, Manuela Schvizig, the state’s head of government, intends to help cancel the sanctions the United States had threatened to impose on companies active in the project. The corporation is considering purchasing components and machinery necessary to complete the gas pipeline.
Maas said that he still hopes for an amicable settlement with Washington, adding, “The new sanctions regime on” Nord Stream 2 “provides a mechanism for consultation … before the implementation of sanctions, there will be consultations with the government,” stressing the importance of joint dialogue “to search for solutions acceptable to both sides.”


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